|General programme, activity sheet|
||Thursday 8 September, 2016 11:00 to 11:30
Telling a story in a second language: thinking-for-speaking effects on perspective taking.Speaker: Elizabeth Gilboy Rubio, Universitat de Barcelona
Speaker: Montserrat Cortès Colomé, Universitat de Barcelona
Authors: Elizabeth Gilboy Rubio i Montserrat Cortès-Colomé
Learners of a second language (L2) face many challenges. Among them, they must learn how to shape the content to be verbally expressed in line with the specificities of the L2. According to the thinking-for-speaking hypothesis speakers get used to routinely choose for verbal expression those characteristics of an event that are “readily encodable in the language” (Slobin, 1996). Since languages differ with respect to which characteristics are coded, speaking a second language entails restructuring a well established procedure already in tune with the grammar of the first language. Such a restructuring process is presumably an effortful one
The aim of our study was to test these claims by comparing descriptions of translational events by second language learners of Catalan whose first language is Russian (RL1/CL2) with native speakers of Catalan (CL1). The description of a translational event requires the speaker to attend to the event-time relations. Both languages have complex tense-aspect systems which do not completely overlap. Moreover, in Russian aspect interacts with a restricted class of movement verbs. Briefly, in their bare form the verbs included in this class come in pairs, one member of the pair expresses movement in one direction towards a goal, hence named unidirectional (Nesset, 2007), while the other member expresses translation of the Figure but not in one direction (non-directional ; Nesset, 2007). Unidirectional verbs come in perfective form, while non-directional verbs come in imperfective form.
28 adolescents (14 Russian-L1) took part in the study. In study one oral narratives in Catalan of the illustrated story Frog where are you? were elicited. In study two the same participants described 48 short video-clips depicting different types of translational movement. Results of both studies show that RL1/CL2 speakers had a tendency to aspectually mark Catalan verbs in line with the Russian constraints.
Slobin, D. I. (1996). From" thought and language" to" thinking for speaking." From "thought and language" to "thinking for speaking." In Gumperz, John Joseph Levinson, Stephen C. (Eds) Rethinking linguistic relativity. Studies in the social and cultural foundations of language, No. 17., (pp. 70-96). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press,
Nesset, T. (2007). The path to neutralization: Image schemas and Prefixed motion verbs. Norwegian Journal of Salvic Studies, 10, 61-71. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7557/6.1315
Teaching and learning of languages
Place: Room B-11